Full cast announced for The Little Match Girl – the musical that launched the hit single Mistletoe and Wine

Tabard Theatre today announced full casting for their Christmas production of The Little Match Girl, based on the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The musical that launched the Christmas single Mistletoe and Wine, will be directed by the original show’s composer, Keith Strachan. Emily Cochrane leads the company in the role of The Little Match Girl and she will be joined by Jack Ayres Aimee Barrett (Josie), Charlotte Christensen (Liza), Julia Faulkner (Mrs Roberts/Winifred/ Washerwoman), Rob Hadden (Jeb), Kathryn Hamilton-Hall (Elsie/Cook/Maud), Matt Philip Harris, Ian McCurrach (Butler), Emily Whiting (Charlotte) and Anthony Williamson (Rich Man). The production opens on 8 December, with previews from 7 December and runs until 31 December.

Following the first performance forty years ago at the Orange Tree Theatre, it was adapted for television by HTV in 1986 starring Roger Daltrey and Twiggy. The musical includes the songs Are you An AngelQueen of the Street and most famously Mistletoe and Wine which won the musical an Ivor Novello Award and went onto become a No.1 hit Christmas single for Cliff Richard in 1988.

Cold Victorian London and our Little Match Girl is out on the streets selling matches. She is not allowed home with her father until she has sold them.  She meets Arthur, a cocky friendly lad who helps her sell her matches and who she begins to rely on as her friend. Through him she dreams of a better life. Will he prove to be her saviour? As she strikes matches to keep warm she is magically transported to a make believe world where her wishes come to life. Could this lead to a future with Arthur that our heroine dreams of? 

Jeremy Paul (1939 – 2011) was a screenwriter and his credits include Upstairs, Downstairs, The Duchess of Duke Street, Lovejoy and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and he also assisted the adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. His playwrighting credits include a stage adaptation of The Secret of Sherlock Holmes(Duchess Theatre), The Lady or The Tiger and Scraps (Orange Tree Theatre).

Leslie Stewart co-wrote the 1988 Christmas Number one, Mistletoe and Wine performed by Cliff Richard. His screenwriting credits includeMonarch of the GlenHolby CityLove BytesDown to EarthCasualtyAs IfPeak Practice, and the 1987 film, Two of Us, for the BBC’s Scene series. In 1976, Stewart co-wrote his first musical, Shoot Up at Elbow Creek. Having worked extensively in music, writing for, among others, the jazz-rock outfit Swegas, Consortium and Cliff Richard, and producing artists including Jeff Baker, Stewart continues to work as a lyricist, currently with the American blues musician, Johnny Mars. His screenplays include The Great Wall of China, The Runner, Cloudberry 9, The Milennium Job and Moomins on the Riviera.

Jack Ayres is a recent graduate of East 15. His theatre credits include Two Noble Kinsmen (Sam Wanamaker Festival), and Mametz (National Theatre Wales).

Aimee Barrett plays Josie. For theatre, her credits include Godiva (Belgrade Theatre), Moulin Rouge! (Secret Cinema), Cinderella (Theatre Royal BSE), and Sleeping Beauty (Towngate Theatre). For television, her credits include Silent Witness, Obsession: Dark Desires; and for film, St Trinians.

Charlotte Christensen plays Liza and her recent theatre credits include Gate at the Cockpit Theatre.

Emily Cochrane plays The Little Match Girl and has recently graduated from GAMTA. Her theatre credits include Hamlet the Musical (APL Theatre) and Beauty and the Beast (International Tour).

Julia Faulkner plays Mrs Roberts/Winifred/Washerwoman. Recent theatre credits include You Never Can Tell, Relatively Speaking Fallen Angels (Broadstairs Repertory Theatre), Phaedra (Pentameters Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Jack Studio Theatre), The Seagull (UK tour), Pericles (The Rose Playhouse) and Macbeth(Gatehouse Theatre). For television, her credits include Million Dollar Intern, Crimewatch, Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years and The Perfect Body.

Rob Hadden plays Jeb. His theatre credits include Imagine This (Union Theatre), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Creation Theatre), The Reverse is Also True (UK Tour) and Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Kathryn Hamilton-Hall returns to the Tabard Theatre to play Elsie/Cook/Maud– she previously appeared in An Ideal Husband. Other recent theatre credits include Whistle Down the Wind (Union Theatre), Man in the Moon (Arcola Theatre), Sherlock Holmes (Bristol Old Vic and UK tour) andMe and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre)  For television, she has starred in The Pendle Witch Child.

Matt Philip Harris is a recent graduate from Arts Educational. His theatre credits include Flagging Spirit (Theatre503) and The Appeal of Silence (Arundel Festival).

Ian McCurrach plays Butler. His theatre credits include Lucky Stiff (Union Theatre), City of Champions (London Theatre Workshop) and The Extermination Angel (Royal Opera House). For television, his credits include Let’s Do Philosophy; and for film, The Piano Shop and Orlando: The Queer Element.

Emily Whiting plays Charlotte. She recently graduated from Cosson’s School of Performing Arts and this production marks her professional stage debut.

 Anthony Williamson returns to the Tabard Theatre to play Rich Man – he previously appeared in A Christmas Carol. Other recent theatre credits include Evita (UK tour), Crazy for You (Gatehouse Theatre), The Eurovision Musical (Novello Theatre), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Union Theatre) and Aladdin (Edinburgh King’s Theatre).

Keith Strachan has worked extensively in theatre and television as director, musical director, arranger and composer. His theatre credits, as director, include Dog Ends (Tabard Theatre), Dreamboats and PetticoatsDancing In The StreetsElvis The MusicalFour Steps to Heaven (West End and national tour), Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (West End), Dreamboats and MiniskirtsSave The last Dance For MeLaughter In The RainCan’t Smile Without YouSweet Soul MusicTommyRock & Roll HeavenThe Concert They Never GaveThe Blues Brothers Meet The Soul SistersThank You For The MusicDancing In The StreetsOnly The LonelyThe Sound Of Fury (all UK tours) and No Trams To Lime Street (Liverpool Playhouse). Strachan also devised the John Lennon musical Imagine with Ian Kellgren in 1992, and co-wrote the musical Baby Love with Richard Harris in 1995. In the late 1980s he worked in television, as a musical director and arranger on shows such as Live From Her Majesty’sNew FacesSpitting Image and The Morecambe and Wise Show.


The Tabard is an intimate, 80 seat theatre close to Turnham Green tube station in Chiswick, London. It opened in 1985 above the Tabard Pub, a popular and historic local landmark. Over the years the Tabard Theatre has played a key role in the development of London Theatre, highly acclaimed for its professional work and extremely popular within the community of West London. It has recently undergone a full refurbishment with new seats and an expanded Front of House area.


The Little Matchgirl                                                                                                                                        Listings

Tabard Theatre

2 Bath Road, London, W4 1LW

7 December – 31 December

Press night: Friday 8 December 7pm

Tuesday – Saturday 7pm

Saturday Matinees 3pm

Sunday Matinees 3pm

Running time 2hours including 15 minute interval

Tickets: £19.50

Concessions: £16.50

Under 16’s: £14.50

Box Office number: 0208 995 6035

Not suitable for children under the age of 8